Wednesday, December 23, 2009

whoa, here it is.

tomorrow is christmas eve. well, well, well. i could easily start this out with a list of things i didn't get done. didn't mail any inlaw gifts. did get most inlaw gifts. but they are sitting here in the "stuff that still needs to be wrapped" pile. not too cool. new year's gifts! yeah.
didn't make ANYTHING that i am giving this year. oh well. i have been sick on top of being really busy at work, busy here at home with short stack, who (knock wood knock wood knock wood) didn't really get too sick, but with me at about 30% energy level he has been spinning me right round baby, right round. yep, like a record baby. plus i have been spending my usual LOTS of time at my parent's house, so nothing getting done on those days.
psst, i will tell you a secret. josh is looking for a job in plano or richardson and we are going to move up that way this year. egads.

so i still have to wrap some gifts, clean up the playroom for company and get the dishes and serving stuff out for tomorrow. then i am taking a shower and going to bed.

tomorrow first thing we are heading over to geneva's with gifts, for her and the kids. what would i do without this amazing woman and her family? shudder to think.
so, i am leaving vincent there for a while, and running to get my nails done, (ONLY because i managed to break one today, nice. this gorgeous "black cherry chutney" polish does not exactly let much slip unnoticed in the big-ass crack department.) and to get my bangs cut. oh, and the liquor store for brandy for my cherries jubilee. then i will come back for vincent and head home, where my mom should be by then. we will then cook like mad for three or four hours, then i will, and i repeat will take a shower, dry my hair and put make up on like a proper hostess cupcake before everybody gets here.

alright, going to set the tables. excited. ho ho ho.

Friday, December 11, 2009

really great cold morning breakfast...

alas, there will be no pictures with this entry, since my card loader is kaput. i will be picking one of those up tomorrow when i go christmas shopping.
however, for all the cold mornings we are having right now, i wanted to share this recipe for parsi scrambled eggs, they are divine!

parsi scrambled eggs
2 T ghee
1 small red onion, finely chopped
1 garlic clove, finely chopped
2 cm ginger, grated
1 tsp garam masala
pinch ground chili powder
4 strands saffron, soaked in 2 T hot milk
6 eggs
cilantro, chopped, to garnish
green chilies, finely chopped

1. heat the ghee, add onions and allow to soften
2. add the garlic, allow to soften but not brown
3. add the ginger
(alternately, as i often do, especially in the morning, add 1/2 t of ginger-garlic paste, which you can buy in a plastic jar at the indian market)
4. sprinkle garam masala, chili powder, and salt to taste over the mix
5. whisk the eggs into the hot milk/saffron mix and add to pan.

now, i am a big "DON'T COOK THE EGGS ALL TO HELL" person, preferring them to be creamy at the end, not resembling packing peanuts. but to each his own, i guess. i use a silicone spatula and stir the eggs in sort of a folding motion, taking them on and off the heat a la gordon ramsay...hey! for lack of photos, let me delight you with a video of how to really make scrambled eggs!

ahhh, that man can cook. ahem. moving on.

so you scramble the eggs then add the chopped green chilies at the end, if you are using them. take the eggs out of the pan, plate them, and put the chopped cilantro on top. i ate mine this morning with half a piece of nan, i had some left from last weekend's trip to the indian market. they hit the spot, cause remember, the garam masala is a warming spice mixture, plus, the ginger is warming too. now i am very hot natured, as any of you who have tried to coexist with me for any amount of time already know, but this is the perfect way to start a cold morning, even for me.
with iced coffee, of course.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

you need to go on a diet, woman.

ok so the PA at my endocrinologist tweaked my pump settings for my new gym routine, which has resulted in a 4 and a half pound weight gain in the past in the past four weeks as one thing after another has come between me and the gym. that is another post .
this post is about dhal. moong dahl, in this instance, my dhal of choice for making dhal, the meal. which is pretty much the perfect food if you are dieting, since it is a complex carb with a lot of fiber, protein, and iron and it is pretty much fat free. it is also extraordinarily inexpensive to make, as long as you have already spent a hundred dollars on indian spices for your cabinet! haha. as we all know, i am an out-of-the-way ethnic grocery store prowler. and as many of you know, i have my spices and pantry goods mapped out by country on spread sheets. sick, i know. but i like to keep a well-stocked pantry so that i can whip up things like this....
presenting my favorite dhal recipe, cobbled together over a few years and perfected at last...
you will need:
2 cups moong dhal. of course you can use any dhal to make dhal. i also like masoor dhal and channa dhal, but i love the flavor of moong dhal so much i made a little shrine to it today.

take these two cups of split moong dhal and rinse them a few times, look for any stones or the like, then soak them in cold water to cover for 30 minutes.
boring, but necessary.

while the dhal is soaking, get the rest of the things ready...
a couple of chopped tomatoes, and the juice of a large lemon, or, if you are like me and rely on your pantry more than the farmer's market, a can of tomatoes and a 3 teaspoons of lemon juice.

about an inch or so of grated ginger, a teaspoon of amchur powder, and a teaspoon of turmeric.
yummy looking, aren't they?

that is for the dhal itself. for the tarka, you will need, clockwise from the top here, a teaspoon of cumin seeds, a teaspoon of black mustard seeds, half a teaspoon of asafoetida, also called hing, and a teaspoon of kalonji, also called nigella seeds, one red chili pepper, or more, if your husband isn't a big spice wimp, and about 6-8 curry leaves. my curry leaves are black because i buy them fresh and then freeze them.

last, but not least. a half a bunch of cilantro, roughly chopped. mmmm, i love the smell of chopped cilantro. ok, so when the moong dhal are done soaking, drain them and add 2 cups of water, some salt, and a pinch of the asafoetida. bring this to a boil, then turn it down to a simmer for 25 minutes, or until your dhal are soft and most of the water is gone. you may have to add more water as you go, which is fine. in this batch today i added an additional 1.5 cups of water, since i was cooking it down pretty rapidly and i don't like it totally dry.
once it is all soft and the consistency is how you like it, add the tomatoes, which i drain but do not rinse, the lemon juice, the ginger, and the asafoetida and the turmeric. mix it well, lovingly even, until all of the ingredients look combined. let this mixure simmer for about 15 minutes. the dhal should look something like this right now.

now, to make the tarka. most recipes call for oil for the tarka, but i like to use ghee, for the flavor as well as the very high smoking point.
heat your oil of choice to HOT, in a little pan like this:

then, since my husband is a spice wimp and we both have the western-palette downfall of not liking large, inedible things in our food, i do the pepper and the curry leaves first, and then fish them out once they have infused the ghee.
smells so good, and watch as the curry leaves resume their proper color, a nice rich green.
then, i add the rest of the dry spices in this order...cumin, mustard, kalonji, hing. the hing should sizzle when you pour it in. let these sit, while gently shaking the pan, till they start to pop around. do NOT let them burn, as they will destroy the taste of your ENTIRE dhal if they do. yuk!

hello, my pretties. i wish there was smell-o-vision on this blog.

once they are popping, add them directly into the simmering dhal. they should create quite a sizzle when they do, this is why it is called "tempering", which is why i linked to the "tarka" wiki up above.
and here is lunch. and dinner. and breakfast, for that matter, for me, for the rest of the week. five pounds off, it's a must. so there it is. a food photographer i AM NOT, but i hope you enjoyed reading this labor intensive entry in inverse proportion to how much i enjoyed putting it up!

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

you know what stops me?

no pictures. in my head, a blog must have pictures or it is not a proper blog entry. i need to quit thinking that way, or i will skip this too often.

that being said, here is a recent picture that we took of us while laying around in bed one morning, vincent is being a vampire.

my life rocks. you think that is awesome? how about this...
for those of you not obsessed with bollywood, or not close enough to me to have been treated to a screening of rab ne bana de jodi, this is vincent dressed up (of his own accord, i swear!) as a character shah rukh plays in that film. those of you who also love bollywood or have been here for a showing of RNBDJ, yes, that is vincent dressed up as surinder sahni. punjab power, lighting up your life!
speaking of bollywood and the like, my hindi lessons are coming along well. i am on unit 10 of the pimsleur hindi cds and am working on the first row of consonants in devanagari. ka, kha, ga, gha, da, get it! found this killer tutorial website to help me along, as well as the snell textbook and my recycled business card flash card set, always in my pocket! i have the k's taped up to my desk shelf at work this week. Bahut accha!

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

well, hello there!

there is a lot going on in my world right now.
in no particular order, i am totally on a mission to get back to the gym and going on a gradual cleanse. i am waiting for my incredibly stressful job situation to either take a turn that i am lobbying for, or beginning a true job search. josh is finishing his student teaching and his bachelor's degree in the next six weeks and will begin his first real job search. vincent is about to turn five, oh my gawd, and we need to make some decisions about how he spends his days as well. which totally affects my job/job search, either way. we are considering a move to somewhere that the public school is more acceptable than the one where we live now, where josh is student teaching, because that one is nowhere near acceptable. and i am trying to get it together to make christmas presents because after almost a year of one part time income and unemployment, we are totally broke.
did i forget anything? i am sure that i did. plenty.
as usual i have 397 projects that i am putting together in my brain. the two that are at the top and time sensitive are painting vincent's room and getting his big boy furniture purchased, assembled, and arranged before his birthday weekend. i have about two and a half weeks to get this done. his furniture and room are a birthday gift from his nonna, pa pa and us. it is a big present. the other thing i want to/need to get done before then is pimping out my back and front patios for the party, and then just to enjoy until summer. i am very morticia addams like that. i clean up my yard from summer neglect, and get it decorated and cleaned up for winter enjoyment.
so hi! i am feeling very rant-y these days so this is where it is going to go. and the good stuff too. and the boring stuff. all of it. it is my world, after all, and i like it when it is out here, rather than all in there.

Monday, September 14, 2009


those of you who know me know how to pronounce the title of this blog. it is "teeny", not "tiny", and it is spelled "tiny" not "teeny" because that is how my mom writes it and my mom made it up, so she gets to decide how it is spelled. it is a nickname, derived from my name, from the end instead of the beginning. my mom didn't like chrissy, thankfully, because neither do i. so i became "tiny". get it? good!
i have tried to maintain several different blogs about several different parts of my life, but never been successful. so i decided to try one more time by having a blog that is just about my life, all the different and disparate parts of it, all in one place. this occurred to me in one of my many bouts of insomnia that i am getting really sick of.
i am going to try and be faithful to it and hoping to add lots of my blogging friends to my blogroll to help with that. i guess having them add me to theirs is really what will help. whatever. i am tired! but there is a lot, maybe too much, going on in this tiny world and maybe it will help to spill it all out and share it.